As busy parents it’s always a struggle to find time to prepare and cook healthy snacks. Quite often we rely on pre-packaged foods which are often either high in energy, fat, sugar or salt, and don’t have the nutritional value that they appear to have.
So, I went on a mission to find some quick and easy healthy snacks that were suitable for my family. We eat a fairly healthy diet anyway, but our dishes always take a long time to cook.
I’m always on the lookout for healthy and easy snacks that my little one will eat. You know what kids are like! One minute they love tomato, the next minute they gag at the sight of it with a highly over-exaggerated ‘yuck’!
To begin this mission, I tried and tested several recipes from ACT Health’s cookbook, The Mixing Bowl: Healthy Recipes for Families.
Proudly supported by ACT Health – Good Habits for Life
These are three of our favourite recipes:
Nothing beats salsa dip with pita chips. This recipe was so easy – actually The Mixing Bowl cookbook provides a range of excellent healthy snack ideas.
Image courtesy of ACT Health
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 long red chilli, finely chopped
- 1 small green capsicum, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 6 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 packet of pita bread, cut into triangles
- Canola or olive oil spray
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Add chilli and capsicum. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Mix through tomato paste and tomatoes and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until thick.
Remove from heat. Cool completely.
While cooling, preheat oven to 180°C. Oil baking tray. Spread pita triangles on baking tray in a single layer and spray with oil. Bake for 5 minutes then turn over and bake for a further 5 minutes until golden.
This recipe was such a hit in our household! We had it for breakfast one Sunday morning. Hubby and I had a three stack pancake with fruit on top, although probably only two pancakes were needed. Bubby had two smaller pancakes – as you can see in the image he had it in his favourite bowl! We used the leftover uneaten pancakes for afternoon tea when we were out at a park. They are so easy to travel with, just wrap them in cling wrap and put them in a bag! They remained fresh for the rest of the afternoon.
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons of margarine, melted
- 2.5 cups of low fat milk
- 2 cups of self raising flower
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 apples, peeled, cored and grated
- Margarine, extra
- 3 ripe bananas, sliced
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
Beat eggs, marg and milk in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix flour and sugar. Gradually pour the mixture into your first large bowl. Fold in apple.
Grease frying pan with marg over a medium heat.
Spoon mixture into frying pan. Approximately 2-3 spoons of mixture per pancake (depends on the spoon size doesn’t it). When bubbles appear on the upper side of the pancake, use a spatula to flip over.
Serve with banana and drizzle with honey.
Notes: As you will notice, I may have gone a little overboard with the fruit on top. I can honestly say that banana and honey would do, but I had left over fruit salad and decided to add this to the pancakes! A definite hit in our household!
Another favourite recipe, and so quick! I whipped this one up when we were running late for swimming one Saturday morning. We are usually big breakfast eaters, so I was concerned that this wouldn’t fill us up. Given we didn’t have time to cook three lots of breakfasts, we put all the ingredients in the blender and bang(!), it was ready in 3 minutes from the first chop of the fruit to the pouring of the smoothie! We guzzled them down – bub loved drinking his out of a colourful straw (hint hint!). If we were running really late, we would have drank them in the car, but on this occasion, we drank them at home. Forty-five minutes later we were hitting the pool… on time!!
Image courtesy of ACT Health
- 500ml low fat milk
- 1 small tub of low fat plain yoghurt
- 4-8 ice cubes (optional)
- Add one, or a combination, of the following:
- 1 banana
- 1 handful of fresh or frozen berries
- 1/2 cup of drained tinned fruit
- 1 medium peeled fruit
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until frothy. Mix with a fork or shake in a sealed container if there’s no blender available.
Serve and drink immediately.
Notes: I didn’t use ice cubes as I had frozen berries in the freezer. The other fruits were banana, a couple of fresh strawberries and an orange. I also used Greek yoghurt left over from the fruit salad I made instead of plain yoghurt.
For more healthy food tips for the while family, visit the Good Habits for Life website where you can sign up to receive a FREE copy of The Mixing Bowl: Healthy Recipes for Families cookbook.
What are your favourite healthy snack recipes? Which ones will you be trying from the Mixing Bowl recipe book?
If you have a fussy eater aged 1 to 5 years old, ACT Health also runs a FREE Fussy Eating drop-in group which helps parents manage fussy eating behaviours in children. It’s facilitated by a dietitian and there’s no need to book.
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